Fun Experiment: Can You Clean a Mirror with a Newspaper? [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Mar01

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Fun Experiment: Can You Clean a Mirror with a Newspaper? [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]

All families have home remedies and wives tales that have been passed down through the years: stress causes gray hair, frogs don’t actually cause warts, etc. One I’ve come across is that you can use a newspaper to clean a mirror. Sounds crazy enough, but there are dozens of web pages devoted to it. So, I set out to see if this is truth or just an old myth.

The recipe is simple. Mix a quarter-cup of vinegar and two cups of water. Spray and coat the mirror. Take out an ordinary piece of newspaper, crumple it up into a ball, begin to wipe.

Sounds simple enough. I snagged an AM New York on my way home from work, I already had vinegar in the cupboard, so I mixed up the solution and headed for the bathroom.

The AM New York newspaper used for this experiment.

I coated the mirror with the vinegar solution and crumpled up a page from the paper. (Sorry, to the author of the article on tourism in New York City’s Brighton Beach neighborhood.)

I started at the top of the mirror going in circular strokes and it did not go so well. The whole thing was coated in large white, foamy streaks. It looked like a child went crazy with a tub of Noxzema.

After a few more moments of rubbing, to my surprise – it really started working! With a little more elbow grease, I got the whole thing perfectly clean! It was as good as a bottle of glass cleaner could do from the store.

If it worked on the mirror, I figured it has to work on other surfaces, so I tried wiping the sink and countertop. Big mistake. The newspaper left black streaks all over the counter top that I had to go back and wipe up with glass cleaner.

There was one major downside to this experiment… the smell! My bathroom seriously stunk from stale vinegar. It lasted for a couple of hours, but, we can officially say this old wives tale is true!

THE 411

Task: Using newspaper to clean a mirror
What: an old wives tale put to the test
Does it work: Yes


We can now prove this is not a myth – but FACT. You can, indeed, clean a mirror with a newspaper, if you mix a little water and vinegar solution to go with it. Just wiping the mirror with a dry piece of newspaper won’t cut it. Glass cleaner can be expensive, so if you’re looking to pinch pennies or there’s no Windex in site – this will certainly do it!

Just be prepared for the smell.  It is vinegar after all.

Send me some other tips and home remedies that you use. I’ll gladly put them to the test!

Image credit: John Loo